Do felonies have minimum or maximum sentencing terms?



    When a person is convicted of a crime, the court will have to determine a sentence to be served. In New York State, there are minimum and maximum sentences that the convicted person will be required to serve depending on the nature of the crime. Felonies all have required minimum and maximum terms assigned to them depending on the class in which the felony falls.

    Class A felonies are the most serious crimes a person can commit. Therefore, felonies in this class have the highest minimum term and, of course, the highest maximums as well. Determining a minimum sentence from class A felonies can be complex because there are subsections of a class A felony. For example, Class A-II felonies have a minimum of 3 years. However, certain Class A-II felonies, such as sexual assault against a child, have a minimum of ten years. The maximum sentence for a Class A felony is a term of life imprisonment. Class B felonies with term sentences have a maximum sentence of 25 years. Class C felonies must have imprisonment terms for at least 3.5 years and have a maximum sentence of 15 years. Class D felonies have a minimum term of two years and a maximum term of seven years of imprisonment. Finally, Class E felonies require an imprisonment term of at least 1.5 years but no more than four years.

    It is important to note that beginning on September 1, 2017, those who have already been convicted of a violent felony may face more serious penalties than a first-time violent felony offender. These penalties are as follows for crimes with a determinate sentence:

    • Class B felony: minimum of 10 years; maximum of 25 years
    • Class C felony: minimum of 7 years; maximum of 15 years
    • Class D felony: minimum of 5 years; maximum of 7 years
    • Class E felony: minimum of 3 years; maximum of 4 years

    If you are in need of experienced legal counsel in New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. and we would be happy to assist you. 

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